The first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic wrapped this week with two huge bouts. Free agents Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa looked to make a big impact in their NXT debut against Tyler Breeze & Bull Dempsey. And in a special main event on the road, Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe took on The Lucha Dragons!
After coming up short against Eva Marie, Carmella was looking to get back on the right track against newcomer Peyton Royce. The feisty Princess of Staten Island and her opponent tried to end things early, trading rollups on the canvas. The taller Peyton used her size to her advantage, keeping Carmella grounded, but there was no stopping The Princess of Staten Island. Carmella fought through Peyton's offense and connected with a Flatliner, transitioning right into her headscissors submission to earn the victory.
Tyler Breeze, perhaps, underestimated independent scene standouts Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa. A hard slap to his gorgeous mug by Ciampa sent Prince Pretty scrambling to tag in Bull Dempsey. The free agents took advantage of the constant bickering between their opponents, gaining the upper hand in the bout, despite the struggles they had overcoming Dempsey's distinct size advantage.
After he was stunned by a dropkick from Gargano, Breeze staggered along the ring apron and into a charging Dempsey's path. Dempsey spent a second too long checking up on Prince Pretty, allowing Gargano & Ciampa to land a sunset flip/jackknife pinning combination to pull off a huge upset! After watching his chance at winning the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic slip away, Prince Pretty viciously attacked Dempsey, laying into the 300-pounder with a series of hard boots, capped off with a Supermodel Kick.
Dana Brooke declared that she's gunning for the NXT Women's Championship. Before she could think about challenging Bayley, Brooke had to get through Billie Kay. The Australian newcomer used impressive agility to get the upper hand, but The Total Diva used her power to muscle out of Billie's grasp and take control. Though Billie fought back and stunned Dana with a big boot, she could not put The Total Diva away. Dana recovered and picked up the victory with her patented fireman's carry slam.
The first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic came to a close with a special bout from Providence, R.I., as former NXT Tag Team Champions The Lucha Dragons returned to clash with the new duo of NXT Champion Finn Bálor & Samoa Joe. Bálor gave his team the upper hand early in the bout, connecting with the Sling Blade on Sin Cara before taking out both Dragons with a daredevil dive over the ropes to the arena floor.
But just as Bálor was picking up steam, Sin Cara cut him off with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. That put The Lucha Dragons in control of the bout. Despite Kalisto & Sin Cara's experience as a team, the NXT Champion persevered and fought back to his corner, sending Samoa Joe into the fray. The bruiser steamrolled through his opponents, taking out The Lucha Dragons with staggering strikes and vicious throws. The new duo reserved their spot in the next round of the Classic when Samoa Joe hit Kalisto with the Muscle Buster, followed up with a Coup de Grace from the NXT Champion. Joe & Bálor looked extra impressive in their first outing as a team. Will anyone be able to stop them, or will they bulldoze their way to victory in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Sasha Banks defeated Gionna Daddio
- Carmella defeated Peyton Royce by submission (5:01)
- Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa defeated Bull Dempsey and Tyler Breeze in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match (6:30)
- Dana Brooke defeated Billie Kay (5:25)
- Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe defeated Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round Match (8:30)
- Dark Match: Neville defeated Kevin Owens by DQ